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How to EAT RIGHT after Eid

By RYAN FERNANDO
Last updated on: May 14, 2021 11:41 IST
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You had been eating sehri in the morning and iftar in the evening for the past month, fasting for nearly 12 hours in between.
Now that you are switching back to your old lifestyle, you'll need to follow a few guidelines to get your body back on course, advises nutritionist Ryan Fernando.

IMAGE: Eid prayers in Srinagar, May 13, 2021. Photograph: Umar Ganie for Rediff.com

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is a wonderful opportunity to cleanse the body.

However, many people are not benefiting from it because they are filling their dining tables with unhealthy foods high in sugar and fat.

Fasting removes fats and toxins from the liver and the body.

Each meal's carbohydrates are converted into energy by our body. It starts searching for another source of energy after six hours of fasting thereby burning stored fat.

When you eat salty, sugary, or fried food at iftar, you sabotage the detox process and miss out on one of the most significant advantages of fasting.

Returning to the daily 3-4 meals a day after observing a month of Ramadan fasting can be challenging for the body.

You had been eating sehri in the morning and iftar in the evening for the past month, fasting for nearly 12 hours in between.

Now that you are switching back to your old lifestyle, you'll need to follow a few guidelines to get your body back on course.

1. Breakfast

After a month of not eating breakfast, the body will be required to reconfigure to eat it again in the morning.

Begin by repeating what you did during Ramadan's iftaar fast.

Eat dates with milkshake or a smoothie.

You can try options from different food categories but do not skip the breakfast. However, if you wish to do an intermittent fasting of 16 hours you can delay your breakfast to later in the day and get a longer fasting period from the last meal which was dinner.

I would advise intermittent fasting under the guidance of a nutritionist and if there has been fat loss in the Ramadan period, extending the religious fast to a health benefit fast can be an option.

2. Food choices

Don't consume fried foods, fast food, junk, outside food, or food that is too fatty or spicy.

Ideally this should be followed throughout the year, but it is particularly important after a fast because your body is more likely to experience bloating, acidity, and indigestion.

3. Hydration

Ensure that you are well hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids.

Lemon juice, plain water, kokum sherbet, sugarcane juice, fruit juices and coconut water are all good to consume.

From a hydration perspective you can also add chia/sabja seeds to your plain water. These will also hold you full and prevent hunger pangs.

4. Plan your diet

Ensure you eat plenty of vegetables, raw salads and whole grains to get enough fibre.

You can also consume lean, non-processed protein. Curd and buttermilk should be part of your daily routine.

This will not only help with digestion and stomach issues, but it will also help you stay cool in this hot weather.

5. Portion control

Treating food or meal as a reward may jeopardise your efforts to develop healthy eating habits in your everyday life.

"I have observed fast for a month diligently, now I am free to eat whatever I wish to eat!!"

Fasting for a month won't give you a free license to overeat now.

Listen to your body. Practice portion control.

If you want to keep your digestion in good condition, you can't overeat even if you're eating foods that are healthy.

For beginners, here's a simple smoothie recipe for you to try:

Break-Your-Fast Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 350 ml milk
  • 15 no dates
  • 2 peeled bananas
  • ¼ cup oats

Topping

Almond, walnuts and cashew.
Mangoes are in the season; you can mango pulp at the top. Berries are also a great option.

Method

  • Remove seeds from the dates. You can also use pitted dates instead of traditional dates. It will save you some time.
  • In a blender, combine the milk, dates, oats, and bananas and blend well until smooth. Refrigerate for some time.
  • When you're ready, pour into the glass and top with nuts, mango pulp and your favorite berries.

This smoothie is an instant source of energy, tastes amazingly good and above all, does not even use any artificial sweet source.

Loaded with nutritional benefits, it's also great for your health.

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